Studying Judaism and Recovery, I am always fascinated by the similarities that I find between the Jewish people wandering for forty years in the desert, and a struggling addict. As we read up about the Jewish people wrapping up their 40 year journey and finally crossing over into the land of Israel, I am compelled to share with you one lesson that I like to take.

Let's say I have an alcohol or drug problem, and I end up in a plush treatment center... Massage therapists are on call 24/7. There is a committed group of old-timers that come by at all times of the day to share their experience with the patients. The meals are cooked by a top-name chef. The highest qualified therapist runs the clinical program. The temperature is just right, and the swimming pool very attractive. I get to work on my real issues, childhood traumas, relationships. I do 12-step work every breathing minute, and maybe I even dream about it. Why not? Life is sober, and life is good.

Then it's time to go home. Home is very unattractive at this point. Nagging spouse. Credit card debt. Mean boss. Bad economy. Car pool. Bad Michigan weather. Wouldn't it be nice if I didn't have to go home at all? What if I just stayed here, in this safe environment and just be an honest, sober spiritual being?

I guess I would have sided with the Jews who wanted to stay in the desert. I can handle staying sober in an environment where all my needs are taken care of. I can handle recovery in a no-conflict state of being. I can stay away from my drug of choice when my DOC is out of sight.

That's not real life. And that is definitely not spirituality. That surely is not "practicing these principles in all of my affairs."

Being spiritual is my ability to be challenged, and stay my ground. Being spiritual is taking all the lessons that I learned from my therapist, counselor, sponsor and utilize them in my daily life.

It's time to go home.